It seems, these days, it is very fashionable to plant trees. It’s a known fact that planting trees helps the environment in many different ways, but did you know, that planting the wrong types of trees can actually be worse than doing nothing at all?
The Forest of Memories is planting forests up and down the UK, and we are incredibly careful about what trees we plant. We have teamed up with the National Trust and Woodland Trust to help us decide which trees are appropriate in which location. Our aim is to provide long-lasting green spaces for people to visit, and that means we must ensure that all the tree species we select INCREASE BIODIVERSITY, and not reduce it.
There are plenty of examples of how planting the wrong tree can have dire consequences to the local biodiversity. A well-known
an example is; the cutting down of native forests being replaced with palm oil. Although they are planting thousands of trees, to produce
palm oil, they are the wrong trees to help the local wildlife thrive.
How Planting Trees Can Actually Reduce Biodiversity
There are plenty of examples of how planting the wrong tree can have dire consequences to the local biodiversity. A well-known an example is; the cutting down of native forests being replaced with palm oil.
Although they are planting thousands of trees, to produce palm oil, they are the wrong trees to help the local wildlife thrive. Although this is an extreme example, it shows just how important, and influential it is when selecting tree species. You need to particularly be careful when you are planting a larger number of trees. As a rule of thumb, the more trees you plant, the more variety you should be planting.
Simpson’s Diversity Index is a measure of diversity which takes into account the number of species present, as well as the relative abundance of each species. As species richness and evenness increase, so diversity increases.
The value of D ranges from 0 to 1. With this index, 1 represents infinite diversity and 0, no diversity.
Some Species Found in The Forest of Memories
Also known as the pussy willow, the male catkins of the goat willow look like a cat’s paws. It supports lots of wildlife, including the elusive and regal purple emperor butterfly.
Pretty, pale, a symbol of purity. This common tree, with its silver-white bark, is favoured by gardeners who want to renew and purify their land for coming year.
Beautiful blossom and a bounty of bright red fruits. Wild cherry, one of the prettiest native trees, is relished by gardeners and wildlife.
Feared by the devil. Favoured by foragers. Elder is the very essence of summer with its fragrant flowers and soot-dark fruits. It was said that an elder planted by your house would keep the devil away.
Soft on the outside. Tough on the inside. On a global scale, this tree, with its fuzzy leaf stalks, shoots and twigs, grows further north than any other broadleaf species.
Pollution fighter, autumn stunner, syrup maker. The field maple is a sturdy broadleaf which supports caterpillars, aphids, and all their predators, all while resisting air pollution.
Catkins resembling lambs tails, and late-summer nuts. Hazel is one of the most useful trees for its bendy stems and as a conservation saviour. And its nuts are loved by people, squirrels and hazel dormice.
Bane of witches, diviner of the future and producer of jam, rowan is an elegant tree with a mystical history. Its leaves and berries are a favourite for wildlife in woods and towns alike.
A symbol of fertility and a forager’s delight. Crab apple trees are associated with love and marriage and its small, hard fruits make an exquisite, jewel-coloured jelly.
Dogwood is a small broadleaf shrub, typically found growing along woodland Understated until the colder months when it bursts into colour, dogwood is a broadleaf shrub which thrives in damp woodland edges. The timber is so hard, it was used for crucifixes.
Festive, neat and prickly. Holly is a well-loved shrub that shelters birds and gives hedgehogs a cosy place to hibernate.
Named after the month in which it blooms and a sign that spring is turning to summer. The pale green leaves of this hedgerow staple are often the first to appear in spring, with an explosion of pretty pale-pink blossom in May. It simply teems with wildlife from bugs to birds.
Early to blossom, blackthorn trees have clouds of snow-white flowers in early spring. They’re best known for their rich, inky, dark fruits used to make a favourite wintry tipple sloe gin.
A familiar, scrambling beauty that adorns hedgerows with its pale pink flowers. Dog rose clasps onto other shrubs with curved spines to grow.